Testing times for Black

First-quarter results at Telegraph, publisher of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph, remained flat year-on-year, despite a fillip of £7.5m from the sale in March of the company's stake in Carlton Communications and sharply higher returns from the Fairfax group of Australia.

Pre-tax profits were £16.2m, compared with £16m a year earlier. Operating profits fell to £4.5m from £12.1m, reflecting the newspaper cover-price war and rising newsprint costs.

The results were at the low end of analysts' estimates, and the shares lost 4p to close at 449p.

The decline also reflected doubts about a planned restructuring of Telegraph by 58.5 per cent owner Hollinger, the holding company of Canadian media baron Conrad Black.

The restructuring, announced in February, would include an offer by Hollinger's US subsidiary, American Publishing, to buy out Telegraph's minority shareholders. To date, however, Hollinger has refused to reveal details, as it attempts to set an offer price acceptable to independent committees at Telegraph and American Publishing.

Commenting on the results, Stephen Grabiner, Telegraph's managing director, said profits had suffered since the Telegraph joined the cover price war last spring, but said the company had no intention of raising prices before the competition. Rupert Murdoch's News International, publisher of the Times and the Sunday Times, is Telegraph's main threat, Mr Grabiner conceded.

"Mr Murdoch is trying to undermine the strength of our franchise, and we will do everything to protect it," he said. Advertising revenues were 8 per cent ahead of last year, largely on the strength of classifieds.

A 20 per cent stake in John Fairfax Holdings, the Australian media company that publishes the Sydney Morning Herald, helped push up Telegraph profits before tax and extraordinary items to £10.5m.

Fairfax, announcing nine-month results yesterday, posted operating profits of A$161.6m (£74.8m), 34 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Both Fairfax and Telegraph warned that further increases in the price of newsprint would affect earnings. Mr Grabiner said he expected two further price rises before the market begins to stabilise in 1996.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test